Small onion prices in Dindigul soar to ₹130 per kilo

The rise in price is also reflected in Chennai. A scene at the Koyambedu wholesale market.

The rise in price is also reflected in Chennai. A scene at the Koyambedu wholesale market.   | Photo Credit: M. VEDHAN

Sellers at one of the largest markets in Tamil Nadu in Oddanchatram, said people were beginning to stop buying onions because of the high price

At the Oddanchatram vegetable market, touted to be the largest market in the State in terms of the volume of vegetables, the price of shallots or small onions, popularly used for making sambar, soared beyond ₹120, on Wednesday. The price rise was reflected in other markets in Southern Tamil Nadu, including Dindigul and Madurai vegetable markets. The wholesale price was between ₹100 and ₹120 and the retail price was ₹130 and ₹150, forcing people to forego shallots.

“People are skipping onions as the price pinch is too heavy. Only the Kerala market is taking onions now and we are sending truck loads to the markets there. The Bellary onions that are bigger in size have also become expensive with the wholesale price touching ₹80 and above,” said A. Rajendran, onion seller. The retail price of Bellary onions was ₹100 at the Dindigul market on Wednesday.

“The steep rise has affected households and hotels alike, as shallots is a main ingredient for most staple dishes including sambar. However, it has not benefited farmers as only middle men seem to be reaping money. The agents who stocked onions are now seeing huge profits,” he adds.

Shallots are cultivated in many districts in the state, including Coimbatore, Tirupur, Erode, Namakkal, Salem, Perambalur. Tiruchi, Theni and Dindigul, while the big onions come in from Bellary and Maharashtra.

“Until one week ago, the seed crops were being sold for ₹2,000 per kilo by the Agriculture Department. But now we are turned away saying there are no seed crops. At private shops, the seed crops are priced at ₹3,500 per kilo. With one kilo of seed crop, we can sow nearly two acres,” says a farmer from Dindigul district.

Non availability and the high price of seed crops has put farmers in a fix, who are looking to cultivate shallots. “It’s a 70-day crop and will yield in February if we sow now. If production is increased, the steep price rise will also come down,” he adds.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 12:38:00 PM |

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